five star turns
Gladiator 2000 It was emperor Commodus that brought Phoenix’s transformational abilities to the mainstream. “I made him flabbier, to show how this scrawny prince had kinda ripened into an emperor,” he says. thumbs up.
Walk the line 2005
Phoenix strummed his way to a deserved Oscar nod for his rigorous take on Johnny Cash, singing and playing the Man In Black’s songs himself. “It was terrifying,” he recalls.
i’m Still here 2010
Car-crash interviews, a career as a rapper, and a face hidden behind sunglasses and a beard… this divisive piece of performance art crystallised Phoenix’s oddball public persona and his taste for the unconventional.
the maSter 2012
“there was nothing solid or consistent about Freddie,” says Phoenix of his flighty character, seduced by Philip Seymour hoffman’s charismatic cult leader. It’s a challenging film that makes full use of Phoenix’s raw intensity.
you Were never really here 2017
Phoenix’s most recent performance might be his best yet. with pools of internalised rage buried under his muscular exterior, tightly coiled avenging angel Joe is the closest thing this generation has to travis Bickle. MM